Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Books, Moms and Mystery by Beth Panageotou

My mother is a voracious reader and keeper of a "book of books."  It's an invaluable resource for tracking authors, series, likes and dislikes.  I came across an email she had sent to some family members making book recommendations on her favorite mystery series.  I wanted to share this with you today, add a few of my own and ask for your input as the Mission Read Library grows!  So...Let's talk Mystery!  Here are some amazing female authors who delight, educate and even frighten their way into our hearts with murder and mayhem.

Mom's Favorite Ladies of Mystery:
If you are looking for something new to read, I have a few suggestions that you might like.  These authors write wonderful mysterys that are great whodonits and great stories.

And I love Wikepedia when looking up authors -- good for biographies and the site always lists books in the order in which they were published.  I often shrink the lists and tape them in my book of books.  And I am pretty anal when starting a new author.  I like to start at the beginning to see the characters develop.  Goodreads is also a fun site to visit.

My favorite of all time is Martha Grimes and her detective Richard Jury.  Her mysteries are set in England and built around pub names.

Sue Grafton is also fun  with her alphabet mysteries set in a small town in California -- all  her books are still set in the late 80s -- no cell phones or computers :)  I have started rereading her books, which I get from the library.

Jane Haddam is another favorite.  Her  books are set in the Armenian American neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Her detective is Gregor Demarkian. 
Anne Perry has another set of Victorian mysteries featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt.  Definitely have to start at the earliest book, similar to Monk. 
Laurie King has a terrific series about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. 
I recently discovered Louise Penny.  Her mysteries take place in a small town outside of Montreal. 
Last, but not least, Donna Leon and Venice .... I found her books a long time ago in a little book shop in NYC that is no longer in business.  For many years I could only get the English print version, but she is hugely popular now and available.
I would add the following to this talented list:

Elizabeth Peters: her main character, the heroine, Amelia Peabody, will win your heart excavating ancient Egypt and solving crimes at the same time. They are best read in order to get the full story.

Elizabeth George: set in England, a group of friends led by Inspector Lynley and Detective Havers are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.  (Warning: You may develop a small crush on Tommy Lynley.)  Also best read in order and was a PBS miniseries.

Laura Lippman: Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan is one brave lady!  And if you've ever been to Baltimore, you will surely recognize many of the scenes!

Sally Goldenbaum: Izzy Chambers moves to Sea Harbor, the quintessential New England fishing town.  She opens a knitting shop, has a wonderful set of sassy and intelligent friends and solves the occasional who-done-it.  The Seaside Knitters series are fun, easy summertime mysteries.

Share your favorites with us here, on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.  Titles will be pinned to the Mission Read Pinterest boards.

ABOUT BETH: Beth Panageotou is the co-founder of Page’s Corner, Inc. and creator of Mission Read.
Beth has a BA from Mount Saint Mary’s University and has a background in public policy and education.  After working in Washington, DC, she taught high school social studies and developed her passion to incorporate multiple learning philosophies, learning styles and student-centered activities within the confines of both the traditional and extracurricular classroom setting.  This carried over to her personal life as Beth left teaching to care for her two wonderful daughters (ages 4 & 7).   Beth strongly believes in the need to stress literacy and creativity in the early stages of child development, as is reflected in the mission of Page’s Corner and the creation of the Mission Read campaign.
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